Interactive Map Shows 2012 Weather Extremes

2/2/2013 7:00 AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Thousands of weather records were broken in communities throughout the U.S. last year, including more than 69 in Pennsylvania, as detailed in an updated interactive extreme weather mapping tool and year-end review.

Compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the tool’s tallies reveal even more monthly weather records set than the 3,251 records smashed in 2011, with record-breaking heat, rainfall and snow catalogued by state.

In 2012, Americans experienced several devastating weather extremes:

2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s State of the Climate report released last week.

Superstorm’s Sandy’s storm surge height, 13.88 feet, broke the record in New York Harbor and ravaged communities across New Jersey and New York with floodwaters and winds.

The summer of 2012 was the worst drought in 50 years across the nation’s breadbasket, with more than 1,300 counties in 29 states declared drought disaster areas.

It was the hottest March on record in the contiguous U.S., and July was the hottest single month ever recorded in the lower 48 states.

Wildfires burned more than 9.2 million acres in the U.S. and destroyed hundreds of homes.

NOAA has estimated that 2012 will surpass 2011 in aggregate costs for billion-dollar disasters, in large part due to the trails of destruction from Superstorm Sandy and the yearlong drought.

The interactive weather map is available at www.nrdc.org/extremeweather.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council.


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